The deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Jarbas Barbosa, estimated that Israel will be the first country in the world to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus (Covid-19). The country chaired by Benajmin Netanyahu carries out an effective vaccination strategy and 45.3% of citizens have already been immunized, that is to say 4,138,000 people, while another 2,762,000, 30.2% of the population, also received the second application.
In the range of over 60 years have been vaccinated more than 80 percent with the first dose of BioNTech / Pfizer. And, meanwhile, those over 16 can already be vaccinated, who, according to the authorities’ objective, should already be immunized by the end of March.
« For Covid-19, it is believed that we will have to reach at least 70% of the vaccinated population to think about controlling transmission. Other models speak of up to 90%, » Barbosa said in a virtual conference.
« We will have to see what happens in real life. I think Israel is going to be the first country to reach 70% and we are going to look at what happens in Israel « he added.
The results are seen in the data. Israel registered 4,706 cases in the last 24 hours, reported the Ministry of Health, which ratified the sustained descent in quantity of daily infections.
The fact that the country, of nine million inhabitants, can count on large quantities of vaccines is due to the contractual conditions that Israel negotiated with the manufacturers. Unlike the European Union, Israel did not keep the agreement with BioNTech / Pfizer in reserve, but published it on the internet.
It follows from this that Israel pays more than the EU per dose: supposedly about 23 euros, instead of the 12 euros that Europeans pay. In addition, the State of Israel is responsible for the product. For the EU, however, it was very important that BioNTech and Pfeizer maintain responsibility.
Despite the advance of vaccination and the improvement in health statistics, The authorities decided to extend the closure of the borders for two weeks, until March 6 -which includes international flights- which in principle would run until next Saturday, reported a government statement quoted by the . agency.
What is herd immunity
Herd immunity, or « herd immunity », is achieved when enough people have acquired immunity against a disease, either by vaccination or a previous infection, to stop uncontrolled infections.
Herd immunity does not confer individual immunity on a specific person, and outbreaks can still occur. It means that a virus is no longer easily transmitted from person to person, which helps protect those who remain vulnerable to contagion.
The threshold of herd immunity for coronavirus is unknown with certainty, although many experts set it at 70% or more. And the emergence of variants complicates the picture.
Israel’s « green passport »
Israel will broadcast from next Sunday a « green passport » to vaccinated while it continues to relax the restrictions due to the pandemic, authorities reported today.
This passport that will come into effect next Sunday and that will be given to each citizen who is immunized with the two doses of the vaccine against Covid, 19, will allow whoever wears it to attend gyms, swimming pools and hotels, among other places.
In addition, it is expected to be essential for trips abroad; Israel recently signed agreements with Greece and Cyprus for the exchange of immunized tourists.
Faced with the positions of experts who recently objected to the easy falsification of the passport, which is downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Health, the head of the portfolio, Yuli Edelstein, anticipated that those who falsify it will be put in prison.
« Those who think this is a game and who can print a vaccination certificate without being identified will really be identified and their activities could end up in prison, » he was quoted as saying today by ANSA news agency.